2021-2022 District Retirement Recognitions

Happy last day of school! As is tradition, I would like to take a moment--on behalf of the District--to recognize and congratulate 11 staff members on their retirement from the Shorewood School District. The group has a combined total of 268 years of service, which is incredible, and we are so grateful for their dedication to our students, families, and schools. They will be greatly missed.

retirees

Below are some wonderful sentiments from colleagues about this year’s retirees.

Atwater
 
Lisa Bellford (2nd Grade Teacher)
Lisa served the District for 11 years.
 
When you meet Lisa Bellford, the first thing that you will notice is her smile and her eyes!  Her smile is genuine and her eyes hold love and kindness.   These physical traits match her personality to a “T,” as everything about Lisa is welcoming and caring. Lisa has been a wonderful friend, co-worker, and teaching partner.  She has supported so many teachers, parents, and students over her 11 years here in Shorewood.  She has always been ready for an adventure and to teach something new or in a new way. That's just one of the many markers showing how great of a teacher she is!  At Atwater, our habits of learning and good character are the PERKS - Perseverance, empathy, responsibility, kindness, and self-discipline.  Lisa has shown those characteristics every single day.  She models grace and compassion and she has brightened many of my days since I first met her.  We cannot imagine our school and district without her and we will miss her so much. Congratulations Lisa!
 
 
Ann Boyd (School Psychologist – also at Lake Bluff)
Ann served the District for 24 years.
 
Ann Boyd is an incredible asset to Shorewood Schools and I am so grateful to have had the experience of working with her.  Her wealth of knowledge, as well as her extensive experience in special education and mental health is so valuable to all.  She is the "go to" person for so many of us when we have questions about what to do to support a student, when we need resources for a family, or when we need a listening ear.  Ann is first and foremost student-centered and is always advocating for what is best for each student even when that poses challenges.  She has contributed so much to Atwater and Lake Bluff, as well as the district as a whole, and she will be greatly missed. Congratulations Ann!
 
 
Cindy Brown (Special Education Teacher)
Cindy served the District for 30 years.
 
Cindy is an amazing woman, teacher and friend to many. She has been at Atwater in multiple roles - student, teacher and parent. Cindy creates a safe, nurturing space for her students where she has touched and changed many lives for the better. She is kind and thoughtful and has spent many hours making sure her students have what they need to reach their full potential. Cindy has a fun sense of humor which will be greatly missed by staff and students. Her kind and warm personality made her a huge asset to her colleagues, students and families. For all of these reasons and more, she will be greatly missed but we are excited for Cindy to be able to spend more time with her beautiful granddaughter which she is so looking forward to. Congratulations Cindy!
 
 
Lake Bluff
 
Candi Konyn (Special Education Teacher)
Candi served the District for one year.
 
Candi is an outstanding Special Education teacher.  She is professional, kind, generous and conscientious.  Her expertise, flexibility and unwavering dependability have been invaluable this year.  She provides structure, stability and support at every turn and is an advocate for both staff and students. Most importantly, she is a brilliant teacher who is dedicated to providing her students opportunities to grow and learn each day.  She is passionate about increasing student’s independence, responsibility and inclusion within the school community.   The students and staff at Lake Bluff have been enriched by her presence this year and she will be dearly missed. She has really been an asset to the Special Education department and we will be lost without her next year, but we are excited for her to partake on a new journey. Congratulations Candi!
 
 
Todd Fendos (2nd Grade Teacher)
Todd served the District for 20 years.
 
Todd has made a positive impact on the hundreds of students he has taught over the 30+ years he has worked in the district. His ability to apply his creative and artistic nature to his teaching has made him a memorable teacher to his students. Anywhere from his “artist in action” units to creating life size Cinderella posters of the teachers at Lake Bluff, his ability to turn ordinary learning activities into an interactive experience is what makes his classroom so special. Todd’s positive nature and ability to brighten up his colleagues will be so missed by the Lake Bluff Staff. Whether it is a simple bar of chocolate or an ice cream cone delivered by Todd riding on a bicycle, he always works towards cheering people up and making their day better.  Todd, thank you for all of your hard work over the past 30+ years! You will be greatly missed by the students and staff at Lake Bluff. We know your legacy will live on in the projects and activities completed by the 2nd grade students for years to come. Congratulations Todd!
 
 
Rich Rosen (4th Grade Teacher)
Rich served the District for 32 years.
 
Rich has dedicated his career to serving Lake Bluff students and families for the past 32 years. He began as a teacher in 3rd grade and also taught 6th grade, before spending the majority of his career as a 4th-grade teacher. He also created the student council organization at Lake Bluff and served as its advisor for many years. Rich was responsible for starting the Boo Pop tradition at Lake Bluff. In addition, he helped plan and served as the host of Lake Bluff's Veterans Day assembly for many years. Rich's hard work, engaging lessons, and sense of humor have endeared him to students, staff, and families. He has consistently gone above and beyond to help each student be successful, whether it be giving a student a phone call each morning or driving them to school. Many have enjoyed Rich's quirky sense of humor, and former students can recall stories and jokes he has told them. Rich was a constant advocate for his students and his thoughtfulness for colleagues was apparent. He could always be counted on to help out in times of need. He will be greatly missed at Lake Bluff.  Congratulations Rich!
 
 
Colleen Shea (K4 Teacher)
Colleen served the District for 33 years.
 
When you think of four-year old kindergarten at Lake Bluff, you automatically think of Colleen Shea, and, rightfully so. She has been laying the foundation of education for students at Lake Bluff for the past 33 years! Educators after her have been adding their learning blocks to her solid and strong foundation. Colleen has touched the lives of countless students over the years at Lake Bluff. She has even taught the children of some of the students she had years ago, that’s how long she has been making a difference in the Shorewood community. Colleen is creative, meticulous, thoughtful, and truly cares for the well being of each and every student who walks through her door. Her passion for teaching and doing what is best for her students is infectious. Working with Colleen makes one strive to be a better educator.  She will truly be missed!  Congratulations Colleen!
 
 
Cathy Sorensen (K4 Aide)
Cathy served the District for 25 years.
 
Cathy has been a respected member of the kindergarten staff for 25+ years. Kindness and patience are two virtues that she has demonstrated throughout her career. Her dedication and commitment to the young children at Lake Bluff is unparalleled. Cathy exudes warmth and supportive behavior while maintaining high expectations. She assumes responsibility for all of the many things that need to be accomplished in a well-run kindergarten classroom. The K4 experience includes whole group, small group, learning centers and free play. Cathy was gifted in providing the right guidance at the right time to help students grow academically, socially and emotionally while supporting the teacher she worked with. Teachers loved to have Cathy in their room because they know she is a “take charge” person. She has been an asset to the program and an excellent colleague. Parents, teachers and students immediately feel comfortable with her. She is a willing collaborator and team player. The children she has served are indeed fortunate to have had a person with her remarkable skills and heart. Cathy truly made a difference in the lives of the children at Lake Bluff. She will be greatly missed! Hopefully she will share her magic again as a volunteer when her grandson begins K4 in two years. Congratulations Cathy!
 
 
SHS
 
Suzi Dixon (Admin Assistant)
Suzi served the District for 32 years.
 
Suzi has been a staple in the Shorewood Schools community for more than 30 years. She is one of the first people you turn to if you have a question about the way something is done or where to find something. Working next to Suzi has been an absolute pleasure.  She is always ready to help staff with their Infinite Campus questions. She is happy to use her vast computer skills to update the digital sign or whip up a helpful spreadsheet. She is quick witted and loves to laugh. She is always there to lend a hand or stay late to complete a project. If you look up the word “loyal” in the dictionary, you will find Suzi’s photo right next to it. She is a wealth of knowledge not only for all things District-related but also when it comes to antiques. Her love of antiques is almost as deep as her love of her family and her colleagues. If you spend any time with Suzi, you'll quickly learn more than you ever wanted to know about antique jewelry, fiestaware and vinyl records and more.  She and her husband have two antique retail spaces to fill so we’ll know where to find her once the school year ends.  While we will all certainly miss Suzi (don't call her Susan) Dixon, thankfully, she is within walking distance from the high school so we can visit her when she is not working at Clocktower Antiques or Antiques on Pierce. Congratulations Suzi!   
 
 
Meg Nolan (Special Education Aide)
Meg served the District for 28 years.
 
Meg is an amazing educator who has poured her heart and soul into our students during her 30 years with the district. She began her career at Lake Bluff where she happily worked for 23 years. She made a dramatic career shift in 2015 when her position was transferred to Shorewood High School. Here she continued to foster and support students for the next 7.5 years with the same wit, laughter, and dedication she showed during all those years at Lake Bluff. During her time in education, Meg has demonstrated a knack for building trusting and strong relationships with her students. She has taught her students to value their voice and see themselves as learners, capable of anything. She loves working with the students and the students love working with her. Her funny and warm personality has made her a huge asset to her colleagues, students, and families. Being in Meg’s presence brings a smile to the face of anyone around. For all of these reasons and many more, we will miss Meg dearly. Congratulations Meg!
 
 
Donnie Perry (Custodian)
Donnie served the District for 32 years.
 
Donnie will be remembered in the District for his dedication to our schools and for his huge heart. He was universally loved by everyone who crossed his path and he was always there to help out a fellow colleague, student, or family in need, whether they were having car trouble, issues in the classroom, whatever it may be. He actively sought out those who needed help, and he never looked for anything in return. During his time in the District, he took his job very seriously, and poured his heart and soul into his duties. He knew people counted on him and wanted everything he did to be done to the highest quality. He has always been a true family man and it translated into his work through his ability to connect with students. He showed love and compassion to every student who crossed his path, gave great advice and was like a father-figure to many. Alums who have come back to visit throughout the years often seek out Donnie just to say hi. We will miss his low-key, laid-back demeanor and his ability to make everyone around him laugh with a simple joke. Donnie, thank you for making a difference and we will miss you greatly. Congratulations!
 
 
To all of these wonderful staff members mentioned above, thank you again for going above and beyond during your time with the District. You will be greatly missed!